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Eurobodalla a gold mine for fossickers

Wednesday 12 April 2017

Fossickers can soon go for gold in Eurobodalla after Council gave its consent to declare the shire a NSW Fossicking District.

The declaration is part of a NSW Government program designed to boost regional tourism by making it easier for fossickers to access certain land.

Fossicking is the small-scale search for, and collection of, minerals and gemstones using hand-held implements. Metal detectors can be used.

The NSW Government estimates there are about 50,000 fossickers in NSW.

As a general rule, fossicking can take place on any land with permission from the land owner or manager, except in national parks, where it is prohibited.

Council’s Executive Manager Tourism Cath Reilly said Eurobodalla had a rich mining history since the gold rush hit the region in the 1850s.

“Gold was discovered in the Moruya district in 1851 and gold fever soon gripped the whole Eurobodalla Shire,” she said.

“This declaration has the potential to expand awareness of our mining and geological heritage.

“It will also add another dimension to the suite of tourism experiences that we already promote focussing on Eurobodalla’s vibrant history and heritage.”

Council was encouraged to declare Eurobodalla a fossicking district by the NSW Department of Industry, NSW Resources and Energy, and the NSW and ACT Prospectors and Fossickers Association.

In Eurobodalla, much of the land suitable for fossicking is in state forests, where there are also are many heritage-listed mine sites and fossicking permits are required.

Fossickers are not allowed to disturb more than one cubic metre of land in a 48-hour period and all sites are to be restored to their pre-disturbed condition as much as possible.

It is expected the Fossicking District will be gazetted by the end of the month.